Few things send audiences into greater hysterics than when a “Saturday Night Live” performance reminds of the dangers of live comedy. The cast of Saturday Night Live is infamous for breaking character during their skits. Instead of being frowned upon, laughing during a scene has produced some of the most beloved moments on the long-running comedy sketch show.

This was probably the funniest sketch in recent Saturday Night Live history.  In a skit called “Close Encounter”, host Ryan Gosling, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong play small-town southerners who come in contact with a UFO.  The basic premise is this: three people were abducted by aliens. Two had a transcendent, beautiful experience, but it didn’t go as well for Kate’s character.

Kate McKinnon is known for her fine portrayal of weirdos, and this one was a real tour de force. She was determined to make everyone break and to control the action, even taunting the others when she was off-camera.  She appeared disheveled, smoking a cigarette, and recounted a horrifying, and hilarious experience with forty “super-off-the-books” little gray aliens.  By the time she starts talking about getting her knockers gently batted around everyone else in the sketch can hardly hold in their laughs. Actually, Gosling couldn’t control himself at all. At one point Gosling was laughing so hard, Strong said (still in character), “He’s cryin’.”

Gosling was a real favorite of the writers, who loved his reactions to Kate in rehearsals and his goofy giggle. It was his first time hosting the show In an interview, one of the writers said this: “We were charmed. When Gosling smiles, the world smiles with him”.

This post was originally published on December 6, 2015. 

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